CHEIK TIote’s says Newcastle United’s players must “look themselves in the mirror” after the last ball has been kicked this season.
The club, which secured its Premier League status last weekend, ends a disappointing domestic campaign with a home game against Arsenal tomorrow.
United manager Alan Pardew – and the club’s hierarchy – have come under fire for from fans frustrated at a season of underachievement.
But Tiote – who has himself struggled for form and fitness – insists the club’s players must take their share of responsibility.
“As a player, you want the club to go forward,” Tiote said.
“I think it’s important to think about yourself when you finish the season. You have to think why it didn’t go so well. That’s normal.
“This season was really difficult for me because of injuries, form and suspensions.
“It wasn’t a top, top season for me, but that’s football. I try to do my best all the time. I look in the mirror.
“When you’re on the pitch, you want to fight, and for everyone to their jobs. You want to help your partner as well.
“As a team, we didn’t play well sometimes. I think next season is going to be different.
“I’m the same as everyone – when I’m on the pitch I want to do my best and do my job.”
Newcastle beat Queens Park Rangers 2-1 at Loftus Road last Sunday to secure another season of top-flight football at St James’s Park.
And Tiote – who famously scored United’s equaliser in the 4-4 draw against Arsenal the season before last – is confident the team can end the campaign with another victory.
“It’s very good for everyone – for the players, for the fans and for the chairman,” said the midfielder.
“Everyone was stressed before the game against QPR. Everyone is calm now. We have one last game, and it’s important for the fans.
“We lost the last two games at home. I think for them it’s important we get a good result against Arsenal.
“It would be nice to score another goal, but the most important thing is that we get a good result.”
On his future, he added: “I’m just thinking about playing Arsenal and being ready for the next season.”